Around 4pm on March 16, Winco employees and customers were advised to evacuate the commercial building in the middle of another Covid-19 panic-buying frenzy. Emergency services and So Cal Gas arrived on scene to search for a gas leak.
Customers anxiously lined the walls just outside Winco. Many had to abandon their groceries mid-checkout. Arriving customers were advised the store was closed until further notice.
After about an hour, word had yet to surface regarding the leak’s location. Employees mentioned smelling gas just before exiting the building. There were obvious signs of concern. But some welcomed the break from work.
“I’ve been really busy with work these last several days with the Covid-19 frenzy going on,” a Winco employee remarked. “I’ve worked 8 hour shifts, but also 10 and 12 hour shifts. I’ve been so emotionally drained and mentally exhausted.”
As of now, employees have been allowed to return inside and finish checking out what was left. But no new customers are allowed back inside yet. It’s uncertain when Winco will re-open its doors to incoming customers.